Choosing the Best Sleeping Pills – Top 10 Brands

Best Sleeping Pill Brands

Throughout the world of health and wellness, one of the hottest topics in recent years has been recovery. According to the well-known General Adaptation Syndrome theory first proposed by Selye in the early 20th century, almost all of our physical results come from applying stress to the body, and then recovering from the stress which creates adaptation or results. In that regard, whether physically or mentally we have an immense amount of stress in our lives.

For athletes or fitness enthusiasts, the physical stress we take in to perform at our best can be rather high, and the mental and emotional stress of the fast-paced life of the average person can be equally stressful. The health and wellness has delivered a variety of supplements, protocols, and contraptions to help us recover faster, ranging from simple workout recovery supplements to literally freezing in liquid nitrogen vapor!

Throughout all of this, we often forget about the absolute best recovery tool we have, sleep. Our body is designed for sleep to be our recovery time, whether that is physically or mentally and emotionally. If our progress is essentially defined as our ability to undergo stress and then recover from it, then sleep is just as important to our health and wellness as exercise or diet, though it certainly receives far less attention. In fact, not getting enough sleep has been linked to an immense number of health issues, which can range from poor performance in our jobs to activities to rather serious issues that can arise from a chronic deficit of sleep.

Based on these facts and the importance of sleep to our overall health and performance, sleeping pills have not only grown in popularity but in some cases in necessity. Those who suffer from an inability to fall asleep whether from insomnia or otherwise can experience serious detrimental health effects, and If you absolutely need sleep with a big performance or event pending, often times a sleeping pill can help you to rest, recover and be fully energized to perform at your best.

In this guide, we will break down exactly what sleeping pills are, who they are best suited for, and the best sleeping pills on the market for you to get a good night’s sleep and perform at your best!

What Are Sleeping Pills?

Sleeping pills are medications, supplements or aids that help you to fall asleep and stay asleep. They come in a variety of different forms including over-the-counter pills, powders and natural supplements as well as prescription medications for more serious instances of insomnia.

Benefits of Sleeping Pills

Sleeping pills themselves offer limited health benefits, however the health benefits of a good night’s sleep cannot be understated. When we get a good night’s sleep and do so consistently, our body recovers from all of the various damage we incur through the course of the day. Physically, much of our muscular recovery happens during sleep as our body temperature cools and the body relaxes, allowing muscles to fully recover.

In addition, during high-stress or cognitively demanding days or lifestyles, sleep is where our subconscious is able to sort through, process and move on from much of stress and emotion that affects us during the day. Conversely, a lack of sleep has any number of health risks from decreased performance to higher stress, depression and chronic issues that can be devastating.

Who Are Sleeping Pills Best Suited For?

Sleeping pills are ideally used in two cases, either chronic lack of sleep for those with insomnia, or in certain situations where it may be harder to sleep than normal, such as on an airplane or before a huge event.

Sleeping pills do have some inherent risks, therefore in the case of ongoing use for chronic lack of sleep, always confer with a medical professional prior to starting a new sleeping pill. Similarly, for single use a sleeping pill for assistance in getting sleep in an environment where sleep may be difficult, it is still advised to be fully aware of the effects of the sleeping pill, how long those effects last and any potential side effects that can occur.

In addition, sleeping pills can be effective for those with a more nocturnal schedule who may work overnight and need to sleep during the day. Our body’s circadian rhythm and melatonin levels, two important components in our natural sleep cycle, are not wired for sleeping when the sun is up, thus using sleeping pills during the day may be beneficial for people with nocturnal schedules.

Common Ingredients and Forms of Sleeping Pills

Sleeping pills come in a variety of forms and contain a variety of ingredients. The most common ingredient, especially in more natural sleeping pills that do not use medications or prescriptions, is melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that is naturally at its highest-level as night approaches, it stays high when the sun is down and decreases as morning comes. When there is a shortage of melatonin or we need sleep during the day, for example people who work overnight and need to sleep when the sun is up, using a sleep supplement primarily based on melatonin can be beneficial, and usually has less side effect than more clinical options.

Other common ingredients might include tryptophan, the compound found in turkey that is commonly associated with making us tired at Thanksgiving dinner. In addition, there are other natural compounds that can be found such as GABA, 5-HTP, L-Theanine, and Valerian that are all-natural ingredients for improving sleep. These will generally have less detrimental or chronic side effects than medications or prescription level sleep medications.

Dosage and Use of Sleeping Pills and Potential Side Effects

Always consult your doctor before taking any products for sleep.

Sleeping pills have a number of inherent side effects, thus the proper dosage and usage is critical. As with any new supplement or medication you are contemplating taking, always consult with your medical professional prior to beginning use for advice on the best product for you, potential side effects and issues to be aware of.

For more natural sleep aids such as melatonin, the primary side effects will just be a state of tiredness and malaise until their effects wear off, thus using the right dosage is important as too much could cause you to oversleep or be overly tired when you wake up and dull your senses and decision making, which have safety consequences and could impair your ability to drive or other activities that should not be done in a particularly drowsy state. To that end, only take sleeping pills of any kind when you are sure you have enough time for a full night’s sleep and will have time for the effects to wear off prior to any needed activity.

Prescription sleep aids and medications especially have more serious side effects, thus it is usually advised to look for natural remedies or potentially lifestyle, diet, and behavioral changes that can help first. Prescription sleeping pills and medications should be only used with medical supervision and for more extreme cases such as a diagnosed case of insomnia, as these types of medications can have rather serious side effects. Side effects can include dizziness, gastrointestinal issues, and as expected serious levels of drowsiness which can cause accidents if used in the wrong time or situation.

Finally, natural sleep aids such as melatonin are preferred to more prescription based drugs, as many medications used for sleep issues double as anti-depressants and can have addictive qualities. It is vitally important to try and remedy sleep issues with natural supplements and behavioral changes first, as the side effects of chronic use of anti-depressants can have incredibly serious side effects and consequences.

What to Look For in a Good Sleep Aid Product

Most natural or supplement-based sleeping pills will have little to some variability in their ingredients, usually containing melatonin or other similar natural compounds, therefore you’ll have to identify which ingredients is the right choice for you and look for that option. Sleeping pills come in capsule forms, powders to mix with drinks, drops and more. They are also often combined with other minerals which is a factor consider.

Be sure when selecting a product to review any additional ingredients aside from the sleep aid or supplement itself, such as additional supplements, fillers, artificial additives etc. as these may carry their own side effects or dilute the quality of the product.

Finally, as with any good product decision, look for reputable brands that are backed by strong scientific backgrounds, as well as offering a strong value. A good rule of thumb in terms of comparing price and value is to evaluate the price per dose rather than overall dose, as most products will have varying sizes.

Top 10 Sleep Help Supplements

We have put together a list of our top 10 recommended sleeping pills. Each one has a short breakdown of its highlights, primary ingredients and usages, as well as a brief profile for the company who makes the product.

Check out all 10 and look for the best option that not only comes highly recommended but fits your individual needs and desires for sleeping pill. We hope you enjoy and find the best product for you!

1. Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve

Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve 1

Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve is one of the fastest acting sleeping pills available. The flavored tablets dissolve in your mouth and the melatonin helps to regulate the sleep cycle and improve overall sleep quality.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 5mg melatonin per serving
  • Fast release and absorption
  • One of the most affordable options available
  • All natural, no artificial flavors or preservatives

Company Profile:

Natrol is one of the oldest companies in the natural vitamin and supplement category, having been in business over 35 years. They have achieved the highest rating from the Natural Products Association and are Good Manufacturing Practices certified.

Why We Recommend It:

This is an excellent product with melatonin, an important nutrient for improving sleep quality. In addition, it is affordable, all natural and convenient to use, making it a simple yet effective and quality sleeping pill option.

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2. NOW Foods Melatonin

Now Foods Melatonin 1

This sleeping pill from industry giant NOW Foods is a pure-melatonin sleeping pill option. With a pure melatonin approach, it is simple, pure and a trustworthy sleeping pill or natural sleep aid.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 5mg melatonin, a potent dose
  • All-natural, no extra sweeteners or preservatives
  • A very reliable and well-known brand

Company Profile:

NOW Foods is the maker of this product, and they are considered to be one of the companies in the greater supplement industry. For decades, they have produced products that are very high in quality yet also specialize in simplicity. They have a wealth of products, over 1,000 and are a major player in the industry.

Why We Recommend It:

This sleep aid from NOW foods is an excellent all-natural sleep aid. With 5 grams of melatonin per dose, it can be a potent sleep aid without the unnecessary extras or side effects of more clinical sleeping pills. Coupled with an excellent brand and reputation, and this is one of the best options available for a pure melatonin sleeping pill.

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3. Nature Made Melatonin Tablets

Nature Made Melatonin Tablets

These melatonin tablets from Nature Made are a quality product of pure melatonin. The serving size is smaller than some other brands at only 3mg per serving, but it is an effective and all-natural sleep aid that may be a better option for those looking for a lower dose.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 3mg melatonin per dose
  • No artificial sweeteners, fillers etc.
  • One of the most affordable options available

Company Profile:

Nature Made has been in the nutritional supplement industry for over 40 years and are a very well-respected brand. They are committed to using scientifically backed formulas in their products to deliver quality and effective nutrition options for their customers.

Why We Recommend It:

This is an affordable, simple and effective option. It has a lower dosage than some other sleeping aid products, but that may be perfect for those looking for a simpler and easier starting point with sleep aids.

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4. Optimum Nutrition Melatonin

Optimum Nutrition Melatonin

This is one of the best melatonin options on the market, particularly for athletes, though it is effective for all users. It includes calcium and phosphorus as well, making it one of the best sleep aids for improved performance, regulating the sleep cycle and improving sleep quality for recovery.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 72mg calcium per serving
  • 55mg phosphorus
  • 3mg melatonin
  • Also has tryptophan in the calcium
  • One of the most affordable options

Company Profile:

Optimum Nutrition, ON as it otherwise known, is one of the leading companies in the nutritional supplement industry and is the producer of this melatonin supplement. They are best known for their Gold Standard line, particularly protein powders, however they are well known and respected for using scientifically proven ingredients and strategies in all of their products, making them a successful and respected brand.

Why We Recommend It:

This supplement combines the essential minerals of calcium and phosphorous with a small but effective dose of melatonin. Sleep is vital to recovery and performance, and Optimum Nutrition is hoping this supplement can help athletes and fitness enthusiasts recover and then perform at their best.

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5. Top Secret Nutrition Sleep

Top Secret Nutrition Sleep

Top Secret Nutrition Sleep is a quality product that uses a quick-release melt-away tablet, making it one of its best characteristics its fast absorption. It includes unique ingredients such as goji berry extract for an innovative sleep aid product.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 160g proprietary blend with GABA, Inositol, 5 HTP, goji berry extract and melatonin
  • All-natural option
  • Very fast absorption
  • Includes melatonin
  • Uses a proprietary blend so individual ingredient amounts are not listed

Company Profile:

Top Secret Nutrition was founded by Tom Richardson, David Zinn, and Augusto Vidaurreta. They are an athletic supplement brand that specializes in products designed to optimize health and improve athletic performance. They have a variety of products including health supports, supplements for muscle and sport and supplement stacks.

Why We Recommend It:

This product from Top Secret Nutrition is an excellent choice and is one of the fastest acting sleep aids available with a high degree of absorption. It uses a proprietary blend, so the amount of each ingredient is not listed, but it uses all-natural ingredients including melatonin for a natural sleep formula.

6. Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Somatomax

Hi Tech Pharmaceuticals Somatomax

This powder mixes with water and uses a proprietary blend to be taken just before bedtime for improved sleep quality. It is ideally designed for athletes and is unique in this product category as it uses amino acids rather than melatonin for sleep improvement.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 14g proprietary blend including GABA, L-Arginine, L-Tyrosine, L-Phenylalanine, Vitamin B6 and more
  • Uses amino acids for improved recovery
  • Powder easily mixes with water
  • Designed to be taken 30 minutes before bed
  • Uses a proprietary blend

Company Profile:

Founded in 1979, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals is one of the most seasoned and well-known manufacturers in their industry. They are registered with the FDA and are a trustworthy brand that creates reliable products with a high degree of accountability, so you know you can trust their products.

Why We Recommend It:

This product from Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals is designed for athletes and unique in the sleeping pill or aid market as it uses primarily amino acids rather than melatonin. For those looking for a purer sleep aid that is melatonin based this is not an ideal product, but it can be an excellent choice for athletes.

7. AlternaScript Rest Up

Alternascript Rest Up

Alternascript Rest Up is an ideal formula for sleep that can be used by anyone but is especially relevant for athlete who need an ideal amount of sleep for recovery. It includes several ingredients aside from Melatonin for additional support and health.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • Proprietary blend, individual ingredient amounts not listed
  • 5 HTP
  • Melatonin
  • L-Theanine
  • NIAGEN (their patented form of vitamin B3)
  • Bioperine (black pepper extract)

Company Profile:

Alternascript is one of the smallest companies in the sports supplementation field with less than 50 employees, however they are an up and coming brand. They were founded in 2013 in Austin, Texas and continue to use modern neuroscience to produce high quality products.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a sleeping pill or aid that is ideal for athletes though it can be used by anyone. It does not deliver a high-quality amount of information regarding individual ingredient amounts, but it has a solid blend for improved sleep and performance.

8. Irwin Naturals Power To Sleep PM

Irwin Naturals Power To Sleep Pm

Irwin Naturals Power To Sleep PM has one of the best blends of sleep products available, with standard ingredients like melatonin coupled with fish oil for omega—3 fatty acids, calcium and magnesium to name a few. Along with an easy to take and fast-acting gel capsule, it is one of the more complete nutritional options for a sleep aid.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1067mg fish oil for Omega-3 fatty acids
  • 200mg valerian extract
  • 100mg GABA
  • 50mg L-Theanine
  • 2mg melatonin
  • Also includes calcium, magnesium and more
  • Fast-acting gel capsules improve absorption and are easy to take.

Company Profile:

Irwin Naturals has been in the herbal and nutritional supplement business for over 20 years. They specialize in creating all of their products in liquid or soft-gel capsules for improved use and absorption, and over the years have developed a strong brand reputation.

Why We Recommend It:

While the individual dose of melatonin is lower than pure melatonin options, this product from Irwin Naturals includes other products as well for a balanced product. The fish oil for additional omega-3 fatty acids is an excellent product feature to fend off inflammation during sleep.

9. Lifesmart Laboratories Sleep Right Melatonin

Lifesmart Laboratories Sleep Right Melatonin 5 Mg

Lifesmart Laboratories Sleep Right Melatonin is a pure melatonin product with no additional fillers or artificial ingredients. It delivers a potent dose of melatonin for a quality night’s sleep from a natural source.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 5mg melatonin per serving
  • No artificial ingredients, common allergens or otherwise
  • Family-owned business and reliable brand
  • Ideal for a simple and effective sleep aid

Company Profile:

Lifesmart Laboratories is an online-only supplement and nutrition product manufacturer. They are family owned and operated and despite being a smaller business than some of the larger industry behemoths, they make excellent products that are sold straight to the customers with no middle-men, making them a trustworthy brand.

Why We Recommend It:

This is an effective sleep product, as it only uses a potent and quality dose of melatonin and nothing else. In addition, it comes from a family-owned and direct to consumer brand, making them one of the more trustworthy brands for high quality melatonin.

10. NOW Foods Valerian Root

Now Foods Valerian Root

This is a unique sleep aid product from industry giant NOW Foods in that it only contains valerian root, an herb known to help with sleep. Coming from a reliable brand, it can be an excellent addition with melatonin or taken alone for improved sleep quality.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1g valerian root per serving
  • Serving is two capsules at night just before bed
  • All natural, no artificial ingredients
  • One of the most affordable options available
  • Lack of diversity means it may not work for everyone

Company Profile:

NOW Foods is the maker of this product, and they are considered to be one of the companies in the greater supplement industry. For decades, they have produced products that are very high in quality yet also specialize in simplicity. They have a wealth of products, over 1,000 and are a major player in the industry.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a simple and effective product that is unique in its specialization of Valerian root as opposed to melatonin. It comes from a very reliable brand; however, it may not work for everyone and may need to be supplemented by other sleep supplements as well.

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Carl Putman

Written by Carl Putman

Carl Putman is a strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level and writer on fitness, health and supplements. Over the past decade, he has worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from professional athletes and world champions to youth and general population, as well as tactical practitioners. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership. Based in Florida, he continues to train and coach as well as write with a passion for making a positive impact for his clients and readers.